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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 15 2010, 03:12 AM   #16
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

I wrote two episodes of TNG about twenty years ago, and that's the extent of my professional career as a television writer - I was a fortunate enthusiast who was able to take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself.
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Old September 15 2010, 05:59 AM   #17
Destructor
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

I couldn't have said it better myself, Gary 2.

Dennis, 'First Contact' is one of my favourite episodes of TNG! Have you spoke about your experience working about it elsewhere on the board? If not, would you be okay with me starting a thread to ask you some more specific questions about it? I love hearing behind-the-scenes info from writers.
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Old September 15 2010, 06:00 AM   #18
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

As for how big residuals are- once a show goes into syndication they are pretty big- particularly one that gets rerun all around the world like TNG does.
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Old September 15 2010, 06:12 AM   #19
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Destructor wrote: View Post
I couldn't have said it better myself, Gary 2.

Dennis, 'First Contact' is one of my favourite episodes of TNG! Have you spoke about your experience working about it elsewhere on the board? If not, would you be okay with me starting a thread to ask you some more specific questions about it? I love hearing behind-the-scenes info from writers.
I've talked about it with respect to specific aspects of it, when someone asks. I'm not sure that what I can tell you is worth a thread. I agree that it's a fine episode, but Dave Bischoff and I only saw it through its first draft - credit for the episode should go mainly to the later writers and particularly to Michael Piller.

Yeah, the "we do things the way we do because of a disastrous first contact with the Klingons" was my idea.

No - I absolutely love the Bebe Neuwirth "I want to sleep with an alien" stuff but it was not in our draft - credit to later writers.

Mirasta Yale was conceived - at the suggestion of the producers - as a possible continuing character (they knew that Wheaton was leaving). They developed Ro Laren instead.

The writing credits were determined by WGA arbitration - all of the drafts are submitted to a WGA review panel and they decide who's entitled to what.
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Old September 15 2010, 01:28 PM   #20
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Oh, neat. Thanks, NCC-1701.

Dennis wrote: View Post
I wrote two episodes of TNG about twenty years ago, and that's the extent of my professional career as a television writer - I was a fortunate enthusiast who was able to take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself.
Ah, yeah, I see that now. Not too shabby. Pretty good episodes, too. Color me impressed.
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Old September 15 2010, 01:33 PM   #21
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Dennis wrote: View Post
I wrote two episodes of TNG about twenty years ago, and that's the extent of my professional career as a television writer - I was a fortunate enthusiast who was able to take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself.
So what happened?
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Old September 16 2010, 05:54 PM   #22
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

1) very cool Dennis *bowsdown*

2) 90% of the screen actors guild is unemployed every day. If it were star trek itself that kept them from being employed it would be affecting Patrick Stewart far more than any other actor in TNG. Since he is the one still working a lot I would have to say it's got more to do with age than anything else. And the fact that 90% of the sag is unemployed on any give day.

3) Brandon Frasier does about a movie a year. None of them are very big lately, but I'm sure he still gets paid.
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Old September 18 2010, 01:31 AM   #23
Atariboy
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

At last month's convention, Frakes mentioned he's glad he doesn't have to support his family as a 'middle-aged actor.' Typecasting might be a factor here, but I think the lack of roles for actors his age was generally the larger problem. Hollywood is all about the young, new hotness.
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Old September 18 2010, 01:49 AM   #24
indolover
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Why would acting jobs dry up?

There is demand in TV, radio, theatre, teaching/coaching, voice acting, etc. Acting is an art form. It's like saying that musician gigs are drying up, or openings for singers and painters.

I think, in all honesty, Trek to some degree blacklists actors who feature in it. So, in a sense, it's a double-edged sword. Trek can propel, and it also can typecast. In Sir Patrick Stewart's case, he was the star of TNG (at least, even though it was an ensemble cast, his was the chief character) and due to TNG's high ratings it propelled him into superstar status.
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Old September 18 2010, 11:35 PM   #25
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

LeadHead wrote: View Post
Kirk1980 wrote: View Post
Yeah, reality TV... the death knell of a lot of acting careers for legitimate actors and actresses.
Not to mention writers, set designers and lots of other people.
Including some of us viewers, who find shows like that insulting to the intelligence.
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Old September 19 2010, 02:38 AM   #26
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

To be a contrarian about "reality TV," the truth is that when the three networks tried to fill up prime time seven nights a week with scripted dramas and comedy, ninety-some percent of it (to paraphrase Sturgeon) was unambitious nonsense. That's the most neutrally I can put it - one can easily sling aroung terms like "vapid," "lowest common denominator," and crap, but let's just say "unambitious." "Insulting to the intelligence" was a phrase that was commonly used about American network television decades before the term "reality TV" was coined.

For every fairly high quality show on which networks lavished money and promotion financial realities dictated that they greenlight a lot of inexpensive, usually disposable stuff. The domination of prime time at various points by three camera sitcoms was (is) driven to some degree by this - in the first several years they can be relatively inexpensive to produce and there's always the chance of the studio and network hitting it really big with a little-known group of actors and writers. If not, well you're not going broke nearly as quickly as you might.

Reality TV fills a lot of time for very little money. Show me some evidence that there's less scripted TV per week now that ranges from good to excellent than there was fifteen years ago and I'll be impressed.
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Old September 19 2010, 03:02 AM   #27
indolover
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Dennis wrote: View Post
I wrote two episodes of TNG about twenty years ago, and that's the extent of my professional career as a television writer - I was a fortunate enthusiast who was able to take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself.
Cool. Did you get an opportunity to write on DS9 or Voyager?
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Old September 19 2010, 02:58 PM   #28
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

indolover wrote: View Post
Dennis wrote: View Post
I wrote two episodes of TNG about twenty years ago, and that's the extent of my professional career as a television writer - I was a fortunate enthusiast who was able to take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself.
Cool. Did you get an opportunity to write on DS9 or Voyager?
Reading is good.
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Old September 20 2010, 06:15 PM   #29
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Dennis wrote: View Post
To be a contrarian about "reality TV," the truth is that when the three networks tried to fill up prime time seven nights a week with scripted dramas and comedy, ninety-some percent of it (to paraphrase Sturgeon) was unambitious nonsense. That's the most neutrally I can put it - one can easily sling aroung terms like "vapid," "lowest common denominator," and crap, but let's just say "unambitious." "Insulting to the intelligence" was a phrase that was commonly used about American network television decades before the term "reality TV" was coined.
Exactly.

Sadly, "the boob tube" didn't mean what I had hoped.
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Old September 20 2010, 08:05 PM   #30
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

wissaboo wrote: View Post
3) Brandon Frasier does about a movie a year. None of them are very big lately, but I'm sure he still gets paid.
Who's Brandon Frasier?

I went to see an actor called Brendan Fraser in London theatreland a few years ago, playing Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He was really rather good. Then he went on to do those awful Mummy films which must have sunk without a trace.
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